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Heavy Rain, Flash Floods in Mena

Thursday storms dumped more than 7 inches of rain on the area.
MENA, AR - Heavy rainfall in Mena on Thursday led to some flash flooding.

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Little Rock provides the following synopsis:
There was a lot of rain in western Arkansas during the afternoon and evening of May 8th. Between 500 pm and 900 pm CDT, Mena (Polk County) received 5.68 inches of precipitation. For the day, amounts exceeded seven inches. It was way too much.

Creeks and streams overflowed, roads flooded, cars were stranded in flood water, high water rescues had to be performed and homes and businesses were sandbagged as a precaution. It was scary. There was relief in the voice of the dispatcher at the local sheriff's office when the National Weather Service called to say the rain was finally over. Until that time, Flash Flood emergencies were issued for the area.

The swath of heavy rain extended from western sections of the state into southeast Oklahoma and northeast Texas.

Thursday night storm reports from the NWS:
  • 0816 PM     FLASH FLOOD      10 S WALDRON  SCOTT AR   LAW ENFORCEMENT. HWY 71 SOUTH OF WALDRON HAD WATER GOING ACROSS IT.           
  • 0815 PM     FLASH FLOOD      MENA          POLK AR    LAW ENFORCEMENT. HWY 71 SOUTH OF MENA IS CLOSED. NUMEROUS OTHER ROADS IN THE AREA ARE BARRICADED. SEVERAL HOMES AND BUSINESSES IN MENA ARE BEING SAND BAGGED AS A PRECAUTION.
  • 0800 PM     HEAVY RAIN       MENA          POLK AR    OFFICIAL NWS OBS. AS OF 8 PM...6.02 INCHES OF RAIN HAS FALLEN AT THE MENA AIRPORT.
  • 0623 PM     FLASH FLOOD      MENA          POLK AR    EMERGENCY MNGR. ONE SWIFT WATER RESCUE HAS BEEN PERFORMED AND THE CAR REMAINS IN THE CREEK. SEVERE FLOODING HAS BEEN REPORTED ON SOME ROADS AROUND MENA.
Additional NWS rainfall information for Mena:
Rain has been heavy over portions of western Arkansas in the last 24 hours. Polk County has seen the highest rainfall totals, with as much as four to seven inches. 

At the Mena cooperative observer site in town, 6.35 inches of rain fell in the 24-hour period ending at 7 AM this morning. This is the second May in a row with an excessively high 24-hour rainfall amount. Since records began in 1887, the highest 24-hour rainfall amounts in the month of May have been...
  • 7.07 inches May 31, 2013
  • 6.35 inches May 9, 2014
Much of this rain fell between noon and 10 PM. At the Mena airport east of town, rainfall is recorded in 20-minute increments. In the 24-hour period ending at 7 AM this morning, 7.30 inches of rain fell, all of it between 1115 AM and 1000 PM. 

These are the hourly rainfall amounts from the Mena airport on May 8th...

1055 AM-1155 AM...0.05 inches
1155 AM-1255 PM...0.11 inches
1255 PM-0155 PM...0.06 inches
0155 PM-0255 PM...0.77 inches
0255 PM-0355 PM...0.10 inches
0355 PM-0455 PM...0.43 inches
0455 PM-0555 PM...0.93 inches
0555 PM-0655 PM...0.86 inches
0655 PM-0755 PM...2.71 inches
0755 PM-0855 PM...1.18 inches
0855 PM-0955 PM...0.10 inches

The heaviest rain fell from 0535 PM to 0815 PM. 2.94 inches of rain fell in the hour from 715-815 PM. Listed below are some of the 20-minute rainfall amounts from the Mena airport yesterday...

0535 PM-0555 PM...0.79 inches in 20 minutes
0655 PM-0715 PM...0.62 inches in 20 minutes
0715 PM-0735 PM...0.72 inches in 20 minutes
0735 PM-0755 PM...1.37 inches in 20 minutes
0755 PM-0815 PM...0.85 inches in 20 minutes

Because of the heavy rainfall, serious flash flooding was seen in Polk and Scott Counties, with the most problems in and around the city of Mena.
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